PERSONAL: Married; children: three. Education: Bennington College, M.F.A.; University of Denver, Ph.D., 2006. Hobbies and other interests: Flamenco guitar.
ADDRESSES: Home— Davis, CA. Office— California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J St., Sacramento, CA 95819. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: California State University, Sacramento, professor of creative writing and contemporary literature, 2006—. Former member of the United States National Fencing Team.
AWARDS, HONORS: Silver medalist, 1993, U.S. National Fencing Championships; Pushcart Prize honorable mention, for short story “All or Nothing at the Fabergé”; “Discover Great New Writers” series citation, Barnes & Noble, and “Original Voices” series citation, Borders Books, both for The Gravedigger.
The Gravedigger: A Novel, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2006.
Also author of A Single, Straight Line (short stories; includes “All or Nothing at the Fabergé”).
SIDELIGHTS: Peter Grandbois’s book The Gravedigger: A Novel evokes the spirit of the school of magic realism made famous in the works of Latin American writers Alejo Carpentier, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Gabriel García Márquez. His story features a protagonist named Juan Rodrigo, who lives and works at his trade in a small Spanish village. Juan has the ability—inherited from his father and grandfather before him—to hear and understand the stories the ghosts of the dead tell him. “The real story,” however, related a reviewer for Book Fetish, “is Juan’s life, told partially through his communications with his late wife, Carlota, who died in childbirth, and partially through the most distressing aspect of this novel.” Juan’s own story is told to the ghost of his only child, his daughter Esperanza, while he is digging her grave in the mountains of Andalusia. Despite the stories of the various ghosts, stated Peter Warzel in the Rocky Mountain News, “the magic and sorrow of the novel is in how Juan Rodrigo tells the story of his adored daughter’s life and how she probes and pushes him to reveal his own life in the process.” The novel, concluded Kel Munger in the Sacramento News and Review, “has more the tenor of a fable than of the wandering, language-driven narratives that make up the work of García Márquez. That’s not a bad thing. We have a García Márquez. What’s really wonderful is to make the welcome discovery of a Grandbois.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Allison Block, review of The Gravedigger: A Novel, p. 27.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of The Gravedigger, p. 370.
Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2006, review of The Gravedigger, p. 34.
Rocky Mountain News, August 29, 2006, Peter Warzel, “‘Gravedigger’ Uncovers Charm, Beauty.”
Sacramento News and Review, August 24, 2006, Kel Munger, “Ghost Stories.”
Book Fetish, http://www.bookfetish.org/ (July 10, 2006), review of The Gravedigger.
Brothers Grandbois Web site, http://www.brothersgrandbois.com/ (November 29, 2006), author biography and author interview with Alex Stein.
DU Today, http://www.du.edu/ (November 29, 2006), Jordan Ames, “Grandbois Takes Circuitous Route to Literary Success.”